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Stone Town

Tour Zanzibar's cultural highlight, Stone Town on a day tour or stay a night or two before your Zanzibar beach holiday.

Fast Facts

Major Attractions
  • Historical buildings - House of Wonders, Palace Museum, Dr Livingston's House, Arab Fort
  • Bustling markets
  • The Old Slave Market
  • Central Market
Activities
  • Historical city tour
  • Markets
  • Spice tours

ABOUT

Stone Town is located on the west coast of the main island. It is a place of winding lanes, ornately carved wooden doors, circular towers, raised terraces and beautiful mosques. Important architectural features are the Livingstone house, the Guliani Bridge, the House of Wonders and the Aga Khan’s Old Dispensary Building.

Stone Town is an extraordinary place to explore; the ancient maze of narrow streets is a romantic hotchpotch of historic old stone buildings built close together for cool respite from the tropical island sun; shaded by elegantly carved balconies, loggias and verandas that cling precipitously overhead. Stone Town gives a glimpse of the essence of Zanzibar, the sights, the sounds and smells of the market, restaurants, harbour and mosques.

CLIMATE

Zanzibar experiences ideal holiday weather for most of the year, with the exception of April and May, which are seasonally subject to the long rains. Short rains can occur in November but are characterized by short showers, which do not last long.

The heat of summer is seasonally often calmed by windy conditions, resulting in pleasant sea breezes, particularly on the North and East coast. Being near the equator, the islands are warm all year round but officially summer and winter peak in December and June respectively. Zanzibar is blessed with an average of 7-8 hours of sunshine daily.

WHEN TO VISIT

  • SUMMER – November to May Hot, some humidity with some rains in November, May and June.
  • WINTER – June to October Warm with rains in June, otherwise sunny.
  • BEST – December to March and July to October

Accommodation at Stone Town

236 Hurumzi2

236 Hurumzi

236 Hurumzui is the second tallest building in Zanzibar. The hotel has been lovingly restored to its former glory when it was the residence of the richest man in the Swahili Empire.

Beyt al Chai3

Beyt Al Chai

For those who want to experience the charm of a classic African setting with a touch of ancient Arabian mystique Beyt al Chai will not disappoint.

Dhow Palace Hotel1

Dhow Palace Hotel

Originally the home of a rich merchant, this graceful building has stood for more than one hundred and fifty years in the heart of Stone Town.

KisiwaHouse1

Kisiwa House

Indulge in the immaculate opulence and comfort Kisiwa House has to offer. Designed to be sumptuous and to reflect a distinct Swahili style the rooms are luxurious and spacious.

Mashariki Palace, Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania Safari, SafariHQ

Mashariki Palace Hotel

Wandering through ancient corridors, your thoughts will drift to the past splendor of a lost era, and the secret memories, that this old palace preserves.

Mbweni Ruins Hotel, Tanzania Safari, SafariHQ

Mbweni Ruins Hotel

Mbweni's suites are each furnished in distinctive Zanzibari style. Each suite has easy access to the swimming pool and the secluded beach.

Mtoni Marine3

Mtoni Marine

This laid back and friendly family hotel is the ideal location from which to explore Stone Town and the rest of Zanzibar, while providing a peaceful retreat from it all.

Swahili House1

Swahili House

Swahili House has 5 floors that are all built around a beautiful courtyard making the hotel the ideal spot to enjoy a quiet moment away from the hustle and bustle of Stone Town.

The Seyyida, Zanzibar, Tanzania Safari, SafariHQ

The Seyyida Zanzibar

With a combination of Colonial and Arabic décor the Seyyida offers a warm and inviting atmosphere for all its guests.

Zanzibar Coffee House3

Zanzibar Coffee House

The Zanzibar Coffee House is a small hotel which sits above a coffee shop along one of Stone Town's narrow streets. The coffee originates from the owners own plantation in southern Tanzania.

Zanzibar Palace Hotel, Zanzibar, Tanzania Safari, SafariHQ

Zanzibar Palace Hotel

Each room at the Zanzibar Palace Hotel has its own unique décor of antique pieces, magical beds, Persian rugs, hand crafted furniture and colourful silks all sourced locally.

Zanzibar Serena Inn4

Zanzibar Serena Hotel

After the heat and dust of Stone Town, the rooms in the Zanzibar Serena Inn are havens of cool and shade. With high ceilings, shuttered windows and cool white walls, the hotel is constructed in the traditional Swahili manner.

Optional Activities in Stone Town